Managing design / designing management

Hi, this is Marco Maria.

I usually go with Pedro. I am designer and manager from Italy.

As a manager, I set the strategy and culture to help teams deliver great products. As a designer, I frame complex business and interaction problems, to nurture solutions that look easy.


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Recent work

Here a few entities I’ve helped growing, businesses I’ve started, projects I’ve worked on

Inspirational image representing the different components of the Italian public design system.
CC.BY Designers Italia – Dipartimento per la Trasformazione Digitale

Ten years ago, I was lucky enough to do the feasibility study that lead to a digital supermarket in EXPO, as well as help designing and setting up a robotic bartending system that rocked a party for Google I/O 2013 while Steve Aoki was playing.

After that, I helped designing, prototyping and testing with users every week the Superpedestrian “Copenhagen wheel” product and mobile app in Cambridge Massachussets. In Carlo Ratti Associati, I developed a design business portfolio from 3,5mln€/y to 5mln€/y in two years and helping the opening of the US branch.

As a freelance, I consulted a few startups setting them up with minimum viable brand & product definitions. I joined Pininfarina to contribute setting up the strategy team, and connect the digital expertise to the amazing products and cars crafts.

In the Presidency of Council of Ministry digital transformation department, I have contributed growing a 7 people design team into 20+ integrated center of competence, running a 15 project portfolio and a design system used by more than 2300 public entities.

This section is upcoming. Meanwhile, you can visit my archive at this link

Value creation, by design

In a business world focused on value extraction, I believe this to be a positive-sum game, so I aim my work at making teams and businesses independent.

I am currently focusing on:

  1. chasing meaning in designing honest services for organic, healthy growth;
  2. juggling feasibility and business viability by-design;
  3. loosely managing design while thoroughly designing management;
  4. metrics, taxonomies, design-ops and nerdish stuff in general
  5. shaping a culture of respect, lightness and fun to sustain work over time.

I am Definitely not interested in:

  1. Chasing unicorn-like scale with blinders on, while meaning gets completely shaped by others (typically, investors);
  2. Aiming at saving the world, with a team that don’t focus on improving help itself first;
  3. The hustle for the hustle sake;
  4. Whatever is the latest tech-trend that will become normalized next month like big data. smart city, blockchain, metaverse, etc. (AI is definitely interesting, as it has use cases and raises interesting questions).

Recent press

Here some articles and conferences I partook

CC.BY Designers Italia – Dipartimento per la Trasformazione Digitale


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